If the game began with a strange, uncomfortable feel to it, it didn't take long for things to get back to the norm for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Although the game started with their Heisman candidate on the sideline for the first drive of his Senior Day, Oklahoma quickly took control and never gave it back to West Virginia.
Rodney Anderson ran for 120 yards and four touchdowns all in the first half and Baker Mayfield threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-31 win over West Virginia Saturday at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Mayfield, the senior leader and Heisman Trophy favorite, was barred from being captain in his final home game as a Sooner after his obscene gesture incident against Kansas. Instead, he had to watch his teammates hold his jersey in his place at the coin toss and had to watch Kyler Murray start the game in his place, even if it was just for a series.
After a week where so much talk centered on everything but X's and O's, it was unclear just how Oklahoma would respond to all the scrutiny.
That question was answered on the first offensive snap as Murray took off for a 66-yard run that didn't end until Murray was pushed out of bounds at the West Virginia 4-yard-line. The next play, Anderson scored his first touchdown.
Mayfield's suspension ended up just lasting two plays.
After a West Virginia field goal, Mayfield entered the game for the Sooners' second drive to a rousing ovation. However, his first play of the day didn't require much work, handing off to Anderson, who ran 58 yards to the WVU 17-yard-line. Three plays later, Mayfield threw his 35th touchdown pass of the season, this one to freshman CeeDee Lamb.
It was just the perfect start for Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12), which scored touchdowns on each of its first six drives, and got points on each of its first nine possessions.
But it wasn't just the offense that made big plays for the Sooners in the first half. When Mayfield connected with Mark Andrews for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left before halftime, it appeared the teams would head into the locker rooms with the Sooners holding a 42-10 advantage.
But when West Virginia (7-5, 5-4) botched a hook-and-lateral attempt in its own territory that resulted in a fumble that Oklahoma recovered at the WVU 33-yard-line, the Sooners had a chance at even more points.
Austin Siebert kicked a career-long 51-yard field goal as time expired to cap off a complete half of football by the Sooners.
"We probably played as good of a first half on all three sides of the ball as we have all year," head coach Lincoln Riley said. "Stopped them defensively and forced some turnovers. And obviously, Austin Siebert kicks a 51-yarder there at the end. Just a great kick and a really cool sequence there at the end.
Mayfield was the focal point of all the Senior Day festivities before the game, and then proceeded to leave his final mark on Owen Field, connecting on 14 of 17 passes, finishing with the same number of touchdowns as incompletions on the afternoon as he firmly put the controversy of the previous seven days in the rearview mirror.